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Ironton rallies past Portsmouth

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

PORTSMOUTH — There’s something about the Portsmouth Trojans that brings out the worst in the Ironton Fighting Tigers’ offense.

Ironton had just five points in the first half of the regional championship game last season, and when the teams met on Saturday night the Fighting Tigers were 16 of 51 form the field for 31 percent including 6 of 28 in the first half.

But this time Ironton was able to recover in the second half and rally for a 53-51 win over the Trojans.

“When you make two or three passes you will shoot poorly, and that’s what Portsmouth wanted,” said Ironton coach Mark LaFon.

“Portsmouth did a good job, but we took ourselves out of the game the first half. I told them to make more than three passes before you shoot. When we did, we started to hit the shots and we got back in the game.”

Portsmouth connected on all six field goal attempts in the first quarter and went up 13-9. Ironton was 4 of 13 from the floor in the opening quarter.

The Trojans cooled off in the second quarter while Ironton continued to struggle. The Fighting Tigers were a woeful 2 of 15 from the field in the second quarter.

However, Ironton’s defense forced five more turnovers in the quarter to go with the seven mistakes in the first quarter to remain in contention.

“There were stretches we played good defense. But you have to play defense and make baskets. When you don’t make baskets, sometimes it makes your defense look worse than it really was,” said LaFon.

Ironton got within 18-17 on a steal and layup by Zac Cater but a layup by Jayllen Carter, a free throw by Alex Dickerson and a 15-foot bank shot by Sky Oliver — grandson of former Major League Baseball star Al Oliver — gave Portsmouth a 21-17 lead at the break.

The Trojans were up 28-19 on a 3-pointer by Jayllen Carter, but then Ironton went on a 19-2 run to take its first lead since 3-2 in the first quarter.

A trifecta by Darrius Boykin and a 3-pointer by Zac Carter put Ironton up 39-30 with just a little more than two minutes left in the quarter.

Jayllen Carter’s two foul shots got the Trojans within 39-32 to end the quarter.

Ironton led 47-39 on two foul shots by Tristan Cox, but Ky’re Allison and Jayllen Carter made two fouls shots each and Carter hit a 3-pointer and Allison a 12-footer as the Trojans trailed 49-48.

Fletcher answered with a layup, Portsmouth committed another turnover and Fletcher hit the first of two free throws for a 52-48 lead with 17 seconds left.

Aaron Stephens made a foul shot with five seconds left for a 53-48 lead. Jayllen Carter’s 3-pointer at the buzzer set the final score.

Fletcher had 26 points and 6 rebounds for Ironton (2-0). Zac Carter scored 17 points.

Jayllen Carter had 27 points and Allison 10 for the Trojans (2-2).

Ironton hosts Waverly on Tuesday.

Ironton 9 8 22 14 = 53

Portsmouth 13 10 9 19 = 51

IRONTON (2-0): Zach Carter 4 2 3-5 17, Trey Fletcher 8 0 10-11 26, Josh Glover 0 0 0-0 0, Trevor White 2 0 0-0 4, Aaron Stephens 0 0 1-2 1, Darrius Boykin 0 1 0-1 3, Joe Bowling 0 0 0-0 0, Tristan Cox 0 0 2-2 2. Totals: 16-51 17-22 53. 3-point goals: 2-13. Rebounds: 14-14=28 (Fletcher 6, Carter 5, Stephens 4, White 9). Team rebounds: 2. Assists: 6 (Carter 3). Steals: 10 (Carter 4). Turnovers: 14. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.

PORTSMOUTH (2-2): Sky Oliver 2 1 0-0 7, Ky’re Allison 3 0 4-4 10, Levi Porter 1 0 0-0 2, Jayllen Carter 4 5 4-4 27, Alex Grashel 2 0 0-0 4, Alex Dickerson 0 0 1-2 1, Isiaha Lisath 0 0 0-0 0, Austin Peano 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18-35 9-10 51. 3-point goals: 6-16. Rebounds: 5-18=23 (Carter 6, Allison 5). Team rebounds: 6. Assists: 4 (Oliver 3). Steals: 3. Turnovers: 24. Fouls: 16. Fouled out: None.